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16 buildings you need to visit before you die

Wow. Just…wow.
Aug 23rd 2014, 5:30 PM 48,343 37

THE FIRST BUILDINGS were built some 12,000 years ago.

We’ve come a long way since then — creating temples to our gods, houses for our operas, and museums for our art that rival nature’s beauty.

Here are 21 buildings you need to see before you kick the bucket.

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, is the world’s tallest building, standing at 2,717 feet.

Travel Trip 1 Day 5 Cities Source: AP/Press Association Images

You can see why the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing gets its nickname, ‘The Egg.’

you-can-see-why-the-national-center-for-the-performing-arts-in-beijing-gets-its-nickname-the-egg Source: stuckincustoms

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, houses an aquarium, an opera house, and an IMAX theatre all in one.

the-city-of-arts-and-sciences-in-valencia-spain-houses-an-aquarium-an-opera-house-and-an-imax-theatre-all-in-one Source: opalsson

The legendary architect Christopher Wren designed St Paul’s Cathedral, arguably the center of London. It opened in 1708.

the-legendary-architect-christopher-wren-designed-st-pauls-cathedral-arguably-the-center-of-london-it-opened-in-1708 Source: grandhi via lick

Completed in 1561, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow is now a part of Russian national identity.

completed-in-1561-st-basils-cathedral-in-moscow-is-now-a-part-of-russian-national-identity Source: kycheng

After the Empire State Building opened in 1931, it was the world’s tallest building for almost 40 years. It still attracts lots of attention, even from the sky.

World Trade Center Spire Source: AP/Press Association Images

The Süleymaniye Mosque presides over Istanbul like the sultan its named for, Süleyman the Magnificent.

TURKEY POPE Source: AP/Press Association Images

Frank Lloyd Wright’s residential masterpiece Fallingwater is nestled in Stewart Township, Pennsylvania.

frank-lloyd-wrights-residential-masterpiece-fallingwater-is-nestled-in-stewart-township-pennsylvania Source: via via r/Creat

Construction started on la Sagrada Família in Barcelona in 1882. While surreally breathtaking, the cathedral is still being built.

Spain Travel Stock Source: Stephen Rafferty

The Dancing House in Prague was originally known as ‘Fred and Ginger’ for the way it resembles Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as they burn down a dance floor.

CTK Photobank Stock Source: Czech News Agency/Press Association Images

Notice the incredible harmony between the Golden Temple in Kyoto, Japan, and the ‘Muromachi’-style garden surrounding it.

notice-the-incredible-harmony-between-the-golden-temple-in-kyoto-japan-and-the-muromachi-style-garden-surrounding-it Source: jaako

Everybody in Beijing has a special name for the CCTV Headquarters: ‘big boxer shorts.’

China Olympics CCTV Tower Source: AP/Press Association Images

Contrary to what you might think, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rio de Janeiro is not, in fact, a spaceship.

contrary-to-what-you-might-think-the-museum-of-contemporary-art-in-rio-de-janeiro-is-not-in-fact-a-spaceship Source: Soldon via /Fl

The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, is the center of the Sikh religious tradition.

the-golden-temple-in-amritsar-india-is-the-center-of-the-sikh-religious-tradition Source: Chris Gold via ic

Mont St. Michel in Normandy, France, is as rugged as it is beautiful.

mont-st-michel-in-normandy-france-is-as-rugged-as-it-is-beautiful Source: Peter Daems

The Great Pyramid of Giza (center) in Egypt is the elder statesman of great buildings. Egyptologists estimate it was built between 2560–2540 BC.

PA-19679984 Source: Mel Longhurst

Read: What is the worst building in Ireland?

Read: What redesigning a bus shelter says about Cork City

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